The Food and Drug Administration has approved Piqray (alpelisib) tablets to treat men and postmenopausal women whose advanced breast cancer is hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative and PIK3CA-mutated.
Piqray is to be used in combination with the FDA-approved endocrine therapy fulvestrant. The PIK3CA-mutated, advanced or metastatic breast cancer (as detected by an FDA-approved test) is indicated following progression on or after an endocrine-based regimen.
Continue reading “FDA approves new drug to treat advanced breast cancer”
After the initial breast cancer diagnosis, days are crammed with tests and your brain can become overloaded with what seems like a never-ending list of decisions about treatment. The patient is the center of a large and complex health care team. But once those initial, traditional treatments are history – surgery, chemotherapy, radiation – it’s time to cope and recover from side effects.
Some side effects are less well-known by lay people (or even other doctors, such as cardiac specialists) and may be less well-described by the care team.
One of these side effects is breast cancer–related lymphedema. A form of secondary lymphedema, it is a debilitating byproduct of breast cancer treatment (lymph node removal, either sentinel node biopsy or axillary, and radiation therapy).
Continue reading “Surviving breast cancer treatment: lymphedema”
Zometa is (a necessary) evil.
I got my first infusion on Friday April 22; I had to have some IV fluids because blood work showed slight dehydration on Thursday (migraine on Wednesday = sleeping much of day = not enough fluids ingested).
Very tired on Saturday, which got more pronounced as day went on. Hit a wall at the ballet Saturday evening. Slight nausea. Chills.
Continue reading “Zometa, an adjunctive breast cancer treatment”
“Cancer was a piece of cake,” Virginia Harrod says. “It was the lymphedema that almost killed me.”
NPR reports that nine months after Harrod’s mastectomy, her cat scratched her hand. She wasn’t concerned at first, but her doctor “recognized her symptoms as a serious and advancing infection.”
Harrod was in the hospital for eight days, and that’s when she first learned she had lymphedema. Over the next 10 months, she was readmitted twice more with dangerous infections.
Lymphedema (secondary/acquired) is a common complication of breast cancer treatment, but it gets short shrift from doctors when patients are assessing treatment risks. My experience confirms this research finding.
Continue reading “Lymph node transfer is a viable treatment for severe lymphedema”